Animal rescuers took to the streets in the hunt for a woman thought to be trying to slaughter foxes.

Volunteers spoke to residents and delivered leaflets to homes near a seafront park where they fear a woman has been trying to kill the wild animals with poisoned dog food.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service (WRAS) volunteers yesterday visited addresses near Salts Recreation Ground in Seaford in a bid to catch the fox killer.

Last week hardware store staff in the town said they were horrified when a woman asked to buy rat poison with the specific purpose of mixing it with dog food to try and kill foxes.

She said she had already tried to use mouse poison but it was not strong enough.

Just a day later the charity received a tip off that the woman may live in the area near the park.

WRAS founder Trevor Weeks said: “Acts such as this are sick and cruel. Poisoning any animal is a horrible death.

“Having seen first hand the suffering and pain poisoned animals go through I don’t know how anyone can do it.”

Mr Weeks said that there were concerns that other animals, such as dogs and hedgehogs, could also be killed if they accidentally ate the contaminated food.

Police said they were taking the incident “seriously” and Mr Weeks has called for CCTV in the Seaford area to be analysed to see if the woman can be spotted.

Five animal welfare charities have together put up a £2,700 reward for evidence that leads to a conviction of a person illegally poisoning animals. Wras, International Animal Rescue, the Fox Project, Seaford Dog Rescue and Jessie’s Trust have all clubbed together to offer the reward.

Mr Weeks has been urging people to seek a humane deterrant specialist if they are concerned about foxes and not to take matters into their own hand.

He added: “Poisoning foxes, like shooting them, is a waste of time and money. It is only a very short term solution.

“Foxes are very beneficial in residential areas as they are nature’s dustbin men and will clear up dead animals and birds, eat dumped food as well as helping to control the rat and mice population.”

Do you know who has been trying to poison foxes? Call the newsroom on 01273 544519.